Last year I kept seeing all sorts of fun Cozy Coupe makeovers on Pinterest. Since we were in the process of moving and putting things into storage, redoing something for our son was out of the question! So once we got settled into the new house and I found one being sold on a local yard sale site for $4 I had to grab it! Our son is tall, so even though he's only 3.5yrs old, he probably won't get much use out of it after this year but at least it can get passed on to his little bro! We went through several different ideas until he settled on wanting a fire and rescue car. I figured that worked best because I could just spray paint it white and reddish/orange. Since the spray paint color I picked for the body ended up being so close to the original color I only needed one can of paint (rather than two like I had been seeing from other makeovers who were drastically changing the colors).
The most tedious part really was just removing all the stickers and scrubbing the old car down! Since I suspect this is one of the original versions (have you seen how they've changed through the years! I actually prefer this style over the "bubblier" ones these days!) The car is also missing it's gas cap too, so there was lots of loose debris stuck inside! Since there are also only two screws that need to be taken out, it's a pretty simple spray paint job! Just cover the tires and wheels with some plastic and then once you've cleaned everything you are set to start painting! I kept seeing everyone using the Krylon for plastic spray paint, but they don't carry that at my Home Depot so I ended up using the Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover Paint+Primer which also works on plastic (only problem I really had was when I first started painting the hood it kind've pooled up and so it looks a little crackled, but I figured it's really no biggie and probably more user error on my part since I was rushing!) I let it dry for a few days and ended up just doing a simple vinyl design on them. I found a fire rescue emblem on Google that I was able to trace and used that for the top of the hood and door. I also just used a regular block font for the words, and then also cut out some new "lights" out of some florescent yellow vinyl for the back. I figured if I went and did anything more extravagant then it might never have gotten done!
All in all, I'm happy with how it turned out! A simple $10 project that hopefully both boys will be able to enjoy while playing outside! (Don't mind the cheesy picture! My son now thinks that all pictures should be of him with his eyes squinted shut! Sighh...I don't know if we'll ever get a good family photo again! )
During my short break between the new baby and move, I had lots of time to think about all the new items that I wanted to work on! One of them actually came from several postings I kept seeing about food allergies. I worked in early childhood for over ten years, and the majority of schools here are all nut free but there are still several schools that allow certain products in as long as everything is labeled clearly. It got me thinking about those with food allergies and what if they were in a situation where an adult who was caring for them may not have been as aware of their restrictions or the severity of it. (Instances being substitute teachers, or even if you were to send your child on a playdate or something where you wouldn't be present. Though I am sure that most parents who have children with food restrictions are very diligent in informing anyone their child comes in contact with of the severity of their allergies!)
Since I was already working on lunch containers for B starting preschool, I decided to make some for friends who had children with food allergies and even listed a few in the shop for those who might be interested in them- for the ones that are pre-made and ready to ship, I made sure to leave spaces for personalization as well. I noticed that there were few online shops that sold lunch/snack containers with the allergy alerts on them, but there were stickers that you could buy for them. Since I personalize most of my housewares and acrylic items using permanent glossy vinyl, and vinyl installation can be tricky for some I decided to just offer the allergy alerts with the container itself so as to avoid any mis-applications!
And for those who have allergies other than nuts there is always the option to just make a food container listing the known allergies with the child's name on it!
Summer has quickly ended and the kids have gone back to school! Our little guy started preschool this week! He's been really excited and has had no fears or hesitations about being away (after being home with me for 3.5 years this is a great relief on my part and because his adjustment has been so easy, it's definitely helped keep me calm too!) Since we have to pack his lunch (and everything needs to be labeled) I decided to make him a few personalized lunch containers- I even let him pick out his own designs!
I also made him one that has divided sections. (And even though the sandwich container doesn't have sections and I can't imagine him actually eating a sandwich everyday, it's simple enough to add sections with fun cupcake liners that can be easily tossed!) Since we have to label everything clearly, this one has a small rectangle that is cut from dry-erase vinyl. Makes it really easy to have to label what is in his lunch container rather than writing on masking tape!
The little guy loves picking out which lunch container he'll get everyday!
Since I am starting to get back into the swing of things, I thought what better way than to get back into my groove by doing a giveaway!! If you haven't already head on over to Crafty Natalie on Facebook for your chance to win a personalized jewelry dish! You get to pick how you want it personalized! And if you don't feel like waiting to see if you're a winner, head on over to the shop to order one!
I've had my Instagram account for over three years now and have always kept it private since they are mostly personal pictures. Recently I've been getting more and more requests from people to follow me, so I decided to create a second account specifically for the "business" side of Crafty Natalie! This account will be open for everyone to follow and will feature projects that I'm working on, items that are currently listed in my Etsy Shop, and of course other fun stuff! I figured a second account would make it easier for those who enjoy following the crafty side! So if you'd like to be kept in the loop on items I've been working on you can find me here (it's the same user name as my Etsy shop- craftynataliedc)
Back in the late 90s one of the first jobs I worked at was in the infant room at a childcare center. (Little did I know that that job ended up shaping what I would do after I graduated college and thus resulted in over ten years of working in early childhood, as a preschool teacher and also as a director of a school!) I remembered one of the baby's always wore these tiny little bibs that were just the perfect little drool catchers! They essentially looked like little collars, so they were definitely more for drooling babies rather than for meal purposes. I had never seen these little bibs other than that one baby, and even when we had our first child, I don't ever recall ever seeing these in stores- nor did I even remember about them! So it was funny that just recently while we were planning on the arrival of our second I kept seeing these bandana bibs all over and it brought me back to being 18 working in the infant room! They are larger than the collar bibs I remember little Lucy wearing, but essentially the same idea, of a trendy little drool catcher! P just turned four months and has been a drool machine for the last two months! I decided to whip up a few of these new bandana bibs that I keep seeing rather than changing his outfits multiple times a day because they are so soaked through! My three year old calls them bandit bibs! Gotta love Sheriff Callie and those train bandits! I think I almost like these better than regular bibs for dribbling babies because they curve slightly inward, so instead of just flapping around, they are more fitted. Why would that be a plus? Well, if you have a crazy active baby who likes to lay on the floor and flail around, then you don't have to worry about the bottom of the bib flipping up and covering his face and him laying there like a turtle on his shell unhappy that his face is covered and you don't have to run over ever two seconds to flip the bib back off his face!
I've got a few whipped up already with more to come in my shop soon!
We probably haven't made it to the beach in over three years! I am DETERMINED to go at least once this year! I had been wanting to make my son a sand pail so I figured if I make it we have to go, right?!
Since we were still waiting for our FIOS installation when I decided to make these a few weeks back, I ended up having to use a pre-bought image that I had in my Silhouette library rather than creating something of my own for the kids. My oldest has really been into whales and sharks, and since I previously made him a shark cup I decided to go with whales this time around! It ended up working out great because I had several whale images that I had purchased and one was more "baby" than the other so I was able to make both the boys buckets! (Yes, I know, our almost 4 month old, doesn't necessarily need a bucket, but why not right?) I also ended up personalizing the shovels with a cute anchor monogram as well!
After moving into the new house I realized there were a few new things that I wanted for myself (funny how once you have kids buying stuff for yourself becomes such an afterthought!) I had been eyeing some makeup holders for the bathroom but since my make-up routine is pretty simple, I didn't need anything huge. Ones I was finding online were upwards of over $30, call me cheap but that's pretty expensive for plastic right?! I love the wooden organizers but they are HUGE and I definitely don't want that cluttering up my counter! I lucked out when Pick Your Plum had some acrylic makeup holders on deal one day. These were the perfect size and stackable (I had wanted one with some drawers but also some dividers). They didn't take long to ship so I was excited to get them about a week after I ordered! I decided to pretty up the organizer by adding my monogram to it. I don't normally go for the scripty kinds of monograms but figured with vinyl it would be easy to swap out if I got sick of looking at it!
It's funny how in your 20s your makeup routine takes so much longer than when you're in your 30s! (Well, at least for me!) I don't use as much now but love trying out new products (I'm a sucker for moisturizers and exfoliators!) So when I received a subscription to Birchbox more than three years ago, I got even more hooked on beauty products! Such a fun way to try out new products for only $10 a month! I've been introduced to so many cool, higher end products that I probably never would have tried before! And the best part about Birchbox is their points system that you can cash in towards products! This makes purchasing that $70 face cream easier to swallow for this stay at home mom! This makeup organizer is great because it's not too big so it allows me the chance to put out all my fun beauty finds without cluttering up my bathroom counter! It holds all my essentials- a few makeup brushes, primer, moisturizer, eye makeup, BB cream and lip gloss!
We have been in the new house for almost a month now and we FINALLY just got FIOS set up- agh, the joys of moving into a new development! It was a LONG three weeks without internet or television that is for sure! It was nice being unplugged but it's amazing how much we've come to rely on being connected for everyday things! This was apparent when I went to pay some bills and realized that I would have to send it out and we didn't have enough stamps! But it was so nice to be disconnected and not be distracted with unnecessary things like Pinterest and Facebook! (Ugh, I have to say the break from social media was pretty nice in the sense that there are just way too many people that all they do is complain complain complain, and geesh, misery sure loves company! It was also nice to not have a bazillion people sharing articles on Facebook that in my opinion aren't really helpful...anyone else notice that parenting articles these days are really depressing. People just can't seem to do what they want to do, it's a constant competition between moms to one-up each other, or it's an overabundance of people creating unnecessary fears with parenting, or really it's a whole lot of busy bodies thinking they know how to parent better than you can. What ever happened to parents being able to parent the way they want, when did it become that you had to follow some book or guideline?! If it works for your family why can't doing what you do be enough?!)
I have officially opened my shop back up and hope to start with custom orders in August or September! My studio isn't quite where I want it to be just yet (we are for the most part unpacked but there are still a few things that need organizing, and it doesn't help that I've attempted to start a few projects before being completely organized, so of course my work area is in disarray!) I have a TON of new items that need to get listed in the shop as well as a whole list of new items to get started on!! Lots of fun stuff to look forward to!
A few weeks ago I grabbed lunch with an old friend. We went to California Pizza Kitchen and I remembered how much I loved their Thai Chicken Pizza! We actually used to make a homemade version all the time and some how that dropped off our dinner rotation! (Yes, I plan dinners for the week! Some people might think this is a bit OCD, but it actually helps me stay organized and also not to spend way more than I need to at the grocery store every week! It also definitely helps cut out that 5pm slump where I'm standing in the kitchen going back and forth wondering what to make for dinner!)
Our three year old loves pizza and after realizing how long it had actually been since we'd made this kind, I decided to put this on the menu the other week! I know some of you are probably thinking, a three year old eating hoisin sauce and bean sprouts? YES, he has a pretty sophisticated palate (thank goodness, no pickiness here!) He actually loves spicy food too! He's had his fair share of Thai curry, fights with me over the pickled ginger when we eat sushi, and the more hoisin sauce he can put in his pho, the better!
This pizza is super easy to make, and you can easily use a store bought dough and leftover chicken! This pizza would be great grilled too!
Thai Chicken Pizza
- 2 chicken breasts
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp sweet chili sauce
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 green onion, chopped
- crushed peanuts (optional)
- crushed red pepper (optional)
- If you are using raw pizza dough, prepare as instructed on the package. If you are using a pre-made dough (naan bread is also a great base to make pizza with too! We use those a lot, especially when we want to make several different varieties) preheat the oven to 450 degrees
- Prepare the chicken breast. Simply salt and pepper the chicken, and grill or saute on the stove. Cut into small cubes or slices. (We had grilled Hawaiian chicken the night before, which was marinated in a mixture of ginger, brown sugar and soy sauce. It actually brought out tons of flavor in the pizza, but a simple grilled chicken will work just fine!)
- In a small sauce pan, drizzle some olive oil into the pan and saute the ginger and garlic. Add in the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and sweet chili sauce and stir. Mix in some water to the desired consistency of the sauce you'd like (I find that 2 tbsp should be plenty). You don't really want the sauce to be runny.
- Spread the sauce on the dough and layer with chicken, mozzarella cheese, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions, and really whatever other veggies you'd like! (It's also great with sliced carrots, but we ran out!)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Top with crushed peanuts or for added spice add crushed red pepper! Enjoy!